[ExI] Electoral College and 1177 BCE

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Sun Sep 2 16:42:43 UTC 2018

John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:

> Real hourly wages in the USA peaked more than 45 years ago, in January 1973
the average person made $4.03 an hour which adjusted for inflation would be
equivalent to $23.68 worth of purchasing power today, but today the average
hourly wage is only $22.65. And yet the country is vastly wealthier than it
was in January 1973. If anybody thinks this trend can continue indefinitely
without horrific social upheaval they are deluding themselves.  I said it
before I'll say it again, one way or another *this will not stand*.

I don't think the distribution of wealth is as much of a problem as a
bleak outlook for identifiable subgroups of the population.  In order
to estimate the psychological/social effect, you have to map income
per capita back to game and berries in the stone age.  For a big
sector of the population, predominately people who were union workers
back in the 1970s, they have seen big declines in purchasing power and
worse (from a social unrest standpoint) their future prospects look
poor and the prospects for their children look even worse.

In the stone age, a bleak outlook in the game and berry supply caused
the rise of xenophobic memes and support for irrational leaders who
would take the tribe into war with the neighbors.  This reliably
solved the resource crisis by war reducing the population.

This maps well into the (US) current leader and supporters of the
current leader.

Not to say that the social entities (nations) of today have a lot in
common with tiny tribes of 100,000 years ago.  But then neither did
Germany of the 1920s and 1930s.  However, human psychological traits
are probably very similar.

Dave Sill wrote

> *even if you could convince me that wealth disparity is a real problem,*

Wealth is roughly the integral of income you don't spend.   The
concept mostly didn't exist in prior to storable food when income was
food, shared out and eaten before it spoiled.  It probably doesn't
have a direct connection to the human psychological traits that lead
to wars.  On the other hand, it may have strong indirect connections
if those who accumulate wealth increase the rate by actions that
decrease income for others.  The subject is complicated and needs

The selection for the psychological traits to accumulate wealth may be
relatively new.  See the works of Gregory Clark.

> I have learned something in the last few months, nobody around here really
wants me to answer that. This is not the Extropian list of old, these days
if I even attempted to address that question I would be attacked by nearly
everybody on the list and be accused of spouting heresy and making

If you want to take such discussions off-list, that could be done.


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